THE GOSPEL OF
THE GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS, FORMERLY CALLED THE ACTS OF PONTIUS PILATE.
Although this Gospel is, by some among the learned, supposed to have been really writ-
ten by Nicodemus, who became a disciple of Jesus Christ, and conversed with him; others
conjecture that it was a forgery towards the close of the third century by some jealous
believer, who, observing that there had been appeals made by the Christians of the
former age, to the acts of Pilate, but that such acts could not be produced, imagined it
would be of service to Christianity to fabricate and publish this Gospel; as it would both
confirm the Christians under persecution, and convince the Heathens of the truth of the
Christian religion. The Rev. Jeremiah Jones says, that such pious frauds were very com-
mon among Christians even in the first three centuries; and that a forgery of this
nature, with the view above-mentioned, seems natural and probable. The same author, in
noticing that Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, charges the Pagans with having
forged and published a book, called "The Acts of Pilate," takes occasion to observe that
the internal evidence of this Gospel shows it was not the work of any Heathen, but that
if in the latter end of the third century we find it in use among Christians (as it was
then certainly in some churches), and about the same time find a forgery of the Heathens
under the same title, it seems exceedingly probable that some Christians, at that time,
should publish such a piece as this, in order partly to confront the spurious one of the
Pagans, and partly to support those appeals which had been made by former Christians
to the Acts of Pilate; and Mr. Jones says, he thinks so more particularly as we have in-
numerable instances of forgeries by the faithful in the primitive ages, grounded on less
plausible reasons. Whether it be canonical or not, it is of very great antiquity, and is
appealed to by several of the ancient Christians. The present translation is made from
the Gospel, published by Grynaeus in the Orthodoxographa, vol, i, torn, ii, p. 61 3.
Notwithstanding the diversity of opinions here alluded to, the majority of the learned
believe that the internal evidence of the authenticity of this Gospel is manifested in the
correct details of that period of Christ' s life on which it treats, while it far excels the
canonical Evangelists narrative of the trial of our Saviour before Pilate, with more
minute particulars of persons, evidence, circumstance, &c.
The Gospel of NICODEMUS, the dis-
ciple, concerning the Sufferings and Re-
surrection of our Master and Saviour,
1 Christ accused to Pilate by the Jews of
healing on the Sabbath. 9 Summoned be-
fore Pilate by a messenger who does him
honour. 20 Worshipped by the standards
bowing down to him.
ANNAS and Caiphas, and Summas,
and Datam, Gamaliel, Judas, Levi,
Nepthalim, Alexander, Cyrus, and
other Jews, went to Pilate about Je-
sus, accusing him with many bad
2 And said, We are assured that Je-
sus is the son of Joseph, the car-
penter, and born of Mary, and that
he declares himself the Son of God,
and a king; and not only so, but at-
tempts the dissolution of the Sab-
bath, and the laws of our fathers.
3 Pilate replied, What is it which he
declares? and what is it which he at-
4 The Jews told him, We have a law
which forbids doing cures on the
Sabbath day; but he cures both the
lame and the deaf, those afflicted
with the palsy, the blind, the lepers,
and demoniacs, on that day, by
5 Pilate replied, How can he do this
by wicked methods? They answered
He is a conjurer, and casts out devils
by the prince of the devils; and so
all things, become subject to him.
6 Then said Pilate, Casting out dev-
ils seems not to be the work of an
unclean spirit, but to proceed from
the power of God.
7 The Jews replied to Pilate, We en-
treat your highness to summon him
to appear before your tribunal, and
hear him yourself.
8 Then Pilate called a messenger,
and said to him, By what means will
Christ be brought hither?
9 Then went the messenger forth,
and knowing Christ, worshipped
him; and having spread the cloak
which he had in his hand upon the
ground, he said, Lord, walk upon
this, and go in, for the governor
10 When the Jews perceived what
the messenger had done, they ex-
claimed (against him) to Pilate, and
said, Why did you not give him his
summons by a beadle, and not by a
messenger? — For the messenger,
when he saw him, worshipped him,
and spread the cloak which he had in
his hand upon the ground before
him, and said to him, Lord, the gov-
ernor calls thee.
11 Then Pilate called the messenger,
and said, Why hast thou done thus?
12 The messenger replied, When
thou sentest me from Jerusalem to
Alexander, I saw Jesus sitting in a
mean figure upon a she-ass, and the
children of the Hebrews cried out,
Hosannah, holding boughs of trees
in their hands.
13 Others spread their garments in
the way, and said, Save us, thou who
art in heaven; blessed is he who
cometh in the name of the Lord.
14 Then the Jews cried out, against
the messenger, and said, The chil-
dren of the Hebrews made their ac-
clamations in the Hebrew language;
and how couldst thou, who art a
Greek, understand the Hebrew?
15 The messenger answered them
and said, I asked one of the Jews
and said, What is this which the chil-
dren do cry out in the Hebrew lan-
16 And he explained it to me, say-
ing, they cry out, Hosannah, which
being interpreted, is, O Lord, save
me; or, O Lord, save.
17 Pilate then said to them, Why do
you yourselves testify to the words
spoken by the children, namely, by
your silence? In what has the mes-
senger done amiss? And they were
18 Then the governor said unto the
messenger, Go forth and endeavour
by any means to bring him in.
19 But the messenger went forth
and did as before; and said, Lord
come in, for the governor calleth
20 And as Jesus was going in by the
ensigns, who carried the standards,
the tops of them bowed down and
21 Whereupon the Jews exclaimed
more vehemently against the ensigns.
22 But Pilate said to the Jews, I
know it is not pleasing to you that
the tops of the standards did of
themselves bow and worship Jesus;
but why do ye exclaim against the
ensigns, as if they had bowed and
23 They replied to Pilate, We saw
the ensigns themselves bowing and
24 Then the governor called the en-
signs, and said unto them, Why did
you do thus?
25 The ensigns said to Pilate, We
are all Pagans and worship the gods
in temples; and how should we think
anything about worshipping him? We
only held the standards in our hands,
and they bowed themselves and wor-
26 Then said Pilate to the rulers of
the synagogue, Do ye yourselves
choose some strong men, and let
them hold the standards, and we
shall see whether they will then bend
27 So the elders of the Jews sought
out twelve of the most strong and
able old men, and made them hold
the standards, and they stood in the
presence of the governor.
28 Then Pilate said to the messen-
ger, Take Jesus out, and by some
means bring him in again. And Jesus
and the messenger went out of the
29 And Pilate called the ensigns
who before had borne the standards,
and swore to them, that if they had
not borne the standards in that man-
ner when Jesus before entered in, he
would cut off their heads.
30 Then the governor commanded
Jesus to come in again.
31 And the messenger did as he had
done before, and very much en-
treated Jesus that he would go upon
his cloak, and walk on it; and he did
walk upon it, and went in.
32 And when Jesus went in, the
standards bowed themselves as be-
fore, and worshipped him.
2 Is comppassionated bj Pilate's wife, 7
charged with being born in fornication. 12
Testimony to the betrothing of his par-
ents. 15 Hatred of the Jews to him.
NOW when Pilate saw this, he was
afraid, and was about to rise from
2 But while he thought to rise, his
own wife who stood at a distance,
sent to him, saying, Have thou noth-
ing to do with that just man; for I
have suffered much concerning him
in a vision this night.
3 When the Jews heard this they
said to Pilate, Did we not say unto
thee, He is a conjuror? Behold, he
hath caused thy wife to dream.
4 Pilate then calling Jesus, said,
thou hast heard what they testify
against thee, and makest no answer?
5 Jesus replied, If they had not a
power of speaking, they could not
have spoke; but because every one
has the command of his own tongue,
to speak both good and bad, let him
look to it.
6 But the elders of the Jews
answered, and said to Jesus, What
shall we look to?
7 In the first place, we know this
concerning thee, that thou wast born
through fornication; secondly, that
upon the account of thy birth the in-
fants were slain in Bethlehem;
thirdly, that thy father and mother
Mary fled into Egypt, because they
could not trust their own people.
8 Some of the Jews who stood by
spake more favourably, We cannot
say that he was born through fornic-
ation; but we know that his mother
Mary was betrothed to Joseph, and
so he was not born through fornica-
9 Then said Pilate to the Jews who
affirmed him to be born through
fornication, This your account is not
true, seeing there was a betrothment,
as they testify who are of your own
10 Annas and Caiphas spake to Pil-
ate, All this multitude of people is
to be regarded, who cry out, that he
was born through fornication, and is
a conjurer; but they who deny him to
be born through fornication, are his
proselytes and disciples.
11 Pilate answered Annas and
Caiphas, Who are the proselytes?
They answered, They are those who
are the children of Pagans, and are
not become Jews, but followers of
12 Then replied Eleazer, and Asteri-
us, and Antonius, and James, Caras
and Samuel, Isaac and Phinees, Cris-
pus and Agrippa, Annas and Judas,
We are not proselytes, but children
of Jews, and speak the truth, and
were present when Mary was be-
13 Then Pilate addressing himself
to the twelve men who spake this,
said to them, I conjure you by the
life of Caesar, that ye faithfully de-
clare whether he was born through
fornication, and those things be true
which ye have related.
14 They answered Pilate, We have a
law whereby we are forbid to swear,
it being a sin: Let them swear by the
life of Caesar that it is not as we
have said, and we will be contented
to be put to death.
15 Then said Annas and Caiphas to
Pilate, Those twelve men will not be-
lieve that we know him to be basely
born, and to be a conjurer, although
he pretends that he is the Son of
God, and a king: which we are so far
from believing, that we tremble to
16 Then Pilate commanded every
one to go out except the twelve men
who said he was not born through
fornication, and Jesus to withdraw to
a distance, and said to them, Why
have the Jews a mind to kill Jesus?
17 They answered him, They are
angry because he wrought cures on
the sabbath day. Pilate said, Will they
kill him for a good work? They say
unto him, Yes, Sir.
1 Is exonerated by Pilate. 11 Disputes
with Pilate concerning truth.
THEN Pilate, filled with anger,
went out of the hall, and said to the
Jews, I call the whole world to wit-
ness that I find no fault in that man.
2 The Jews replied to Pilate, If he
had not been a wicked person, we
had not brought him before thee.
3 Pilate said to them, Do ye take
him and try him by your law.
4 Then the Jews said, It is not law-
ful for us to put any one to death.
5 Pilate said to the Jews, The com-
mand, therefore, thou shalt not kill,
belongs to you, but not to me.
6 And he went again into the hall,
and called Jesus by himself, and said
to him, Art thou the king of the
7 And Jesus answering, said to Pil-
ate, Dost thou speak this of thyself,
or did the Jews tell it thee concern-
8 Pilate answering, said to Jesus,
Am I a Jew? The whole nation and
rulers of the Jews have delivered
thee up to me. What hast thou done?
9 Jesus answering, said, My kingdom
is not of this world: if my kingdom
were of this world, then would my
servants fight, and I should not have
been delivered to the Jews: but now
my kingdom is not from hence.
10 Pilate said, Art thou a king then?
Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I
am a king: to this end was I born,
and for this end came I into the
world; and for this purpose I came,
that I should bear witness to the
truth; and every one who is of the
truth, heareth my voice.
11 Pilate saith to him, What is
12 Jesus said, Truth is from heaven.
13 Pilate said, Therefore truth is not
14 Jesus saith to Pilate, Believe that
truth is on earth among those, who
when they have the power of judg-
ment, are governed by truth, and
form right judgment.
1 Pilate finds no fault in Jesus. 16 The
Jews demand his crucifixion.
THEN Pilate left Jesus in the hall,
and went out to the Jews, and said, I
find not any one fault in Jesus.
2 The Jews say unto him, But he
said, I can destroy the temple of
God, and in three days build it up
3 Pilate saith to them, What sort of
temple is that of which he speaketh?
4 The Jews say unto him, That
which Solomon was forty-six years in
building, he said he would destroy,
and in three days build up.
5 Pilate said to them again, I am in-
nocent from the blood of that man!
do ye look to it.
6 The Jews say to him, His blood be
upon us and our children. Then Pil-
ate calling together the elders and
scribes, priests and Levites, saith to
them privately, Do not act thus; I
have found nothing in your charge
(against him) concerning his curing
sick persons, and breaking the sab-
bath, worthy of death.
7 The priests and Levites replied to
Pilate, By the life of Caesar, if any
one be a blasphemer, he is worthy of
death; but this man hath blasphemed
against the Lord.
8 Then the governor again com-
manded the Jews to depart out of
the hall; and calling Jesus, said to
him, What shall I do with thee?
9 Jesus answered him, Do according
as it is written.
10 Pilate said to him, How is it writ-
11 Jesus saith to him, Moses and the
prophets have prophesied concern-
ing my suffering and resurrection.
12 The Jews hearing this, were pro-
voked, and said to Pilate, Why wilt
thou any longer hear the blasphemy
of that man?
13 Pilate saith to them, If these
words seem to you blasphemy, do ye
take him, bring him to your court,
and try him according to your law.
14 The Jews reply to Pilate, Our law
saith, he shall be obliged to receive
nine and thirty stripes, but if after
this manner he shall blaspheme
against the Lord, he shall be stoned.
15 Pilate saith unto them, If that
speech of his was blasphemy, do ye
try him according to your law.
16 The Jews say to Pilate, Our law
command us not to put any one to
death. We desire that he may be cru-
cified, because he deserves the death
of the cross.
17 Pilate saith to them, It is not fit
he should be crucified: let him be
only whipped and sent away.
18 But when the governor looked
upon the people that were present
and the Jews, he saw many of the
Jews in tears, and said to the chief
priests of the Jews, All the people
do not desire his death.
19 The elders of the Jews answered
to Pilate, We and all the people came
hither for this very purpose, that he
20 Pilate saith to them, Why should
21 They said to him, Because he de-
clares himself to be the Son of God
and a King.
1 Nicodemus speaks in defence of Christ,
and relates his miracles. 12 Another Jew,
26 with Veronica, 34 Centurio, and oth-
ers, testify of other miracles.
BUT Nicodemus, a certain Jew,
stood before the governor, and said,
I entreat thee, O righteous judge,
that thou wouldst favour me with the
liberty of speaking a few words.
2 Pilate said to him, Speak on.
3 Nicodemus said, I spake to the
elders of the Jews, and the scribes,
and priests and Levites, and all the
multitude of the Jews, in their as-
sembly; What is it ye would do with
4 He is a man who hath wrought
many useful and glorious miracles,
such as no man on earth ever
wrought before, nor will ever work.
Let him go, and do him no harm; if
he cometh from God, his miracles,
(his miraculous cures) will continue;
but if from men, they will come to
5 Thus Moses, when he was sent by
God into Egypt, wrought the mir-
acles which God commanded him,
before Pharaoh king of Egypt; and
though the magicians of that coun-
try, Jannes and Jambres, wrought by
their magic the same miracles which
Moses did, yet they could not work
all which he did;
6 And the miracles which the magi-
cians wrought, were not of God, as
ye know, O Scribes and Pharisees;
but they who wrought them per-
ished, and all who believed them.
7 And now let this man go; because
the very miracles for which ye accuse
him, are from God; and he is not
worthy of death.
8 The Jews then said to Nicodemus,
Art thou become his disciple, and
making speeches in his favour?
9 Nicodemus said to them, Is the
governor become his disciple also,
and does he make speeches for him?
Did not Caesar place him in that
10 When the Jews heard this they
trembled, and gnashed their teeth at
Nicodemus, and said to him, Mayest
thou receive his doctrine for truth,
and have thy lot with Christ!
11 Nicodemus replied, Amen; I will
receive his doctrine, and my lot with
him, as ye have said.
12 Then another certain Jew rose
up, and desired leave of the gov-
ernor to hear him a few words.
13 And the governor said, Speak,
what thou hast a mind.
14 And he said, I lay for thirty-
eight years by the sheep-pool at Jer-
usalem, labouring under a great in-
firmity, and waiting for a cure which
should be wrought by the coming of
an angel, who at a certain time
troubled the water: and whosoever
first after the troubling of the water
stepped in, was made whole of what-
soever disease he had.
15 And when Jesus saw me languish-
ing there, he said to me, Wilt thou
be made whole? And I answered, Sir,
I have no man, when the water is
troubled, to put me into the pool.
16 And he said unto me, Rise, take
up thy bed and walk. And I was im-
mediately made whole, and took up
my bed and walked.
17 The Jews then said to Pilate, Our
Lord Governor, pray ask him what
day it was on which he was cured of
18 The infirm person replied, It was
on the sabbath.
19 The Jews said to Pilate, Did we
not say that he wrought his cures on
the sabbath, and cast out devils by
the prince of devils?
20 Then another certain Jew came
forth, and said, I was blind, could
hear sounds, but could not see any
one; and as Jesus was going along, I
heard the multitude passing by, and I
asked what was there?
21 They told me that Jesus was
passing by: then I cried out, saying,
Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on
me. And he stood still, and com-
manded that I should be brought to
him, and said to me, What wilt thou?
22 I said, Lord, that I may receive
23 He said to me, Receive thy sight:
and presently I saw, and followed
him, rejoicing and giving thanks,
24 Another Jew also came forth, and
said, I was a leper, and he cured me
by his word only, saying, I will, be
thou clean; and presently I was
cleansed from my leprosy.
25 And another Jew came forth, and
said I was crooked, and he made me
straight by his word.
26 And a certain woman named
Veronica, said, I was afflicted with
an issue of blood twelve years, and I
touched the hem of his garment, and
presently the issue of blood stopped.
27 The Jews then said, We have a
law, that a woman shall not be al-
lowed as an evidence.
28 And, after other things, another
Jew said, I saw Jesus invited to a
wedding with his disciples, and there
was a want of wine in Cana of Ga-
29 And when the wine was all
drank, he commanded the servants
that they should fill six pots which
were there with water, and they filled
them up to the brim, and he blessed
them and turned the water into wine,
and all the people drank, being sur-
prised at this miracle,
30 And another Jew stood forth,
and said, I saw Jesus teaching in the
synagogue at Capernaum; and there
was in the synagogue a certain man
who had a devil; and he cried out,
saying, let me alone; what have we to
do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth? Art
thou come to destroy us? I know
that thou art the Holy One of God.
31 And Jesus rebuked him, saying,
Hold thy peace, unclean spirit, and
come out of the man; and presently
he came out of him, and did not at
all hurt him.
32 The following things were also
said by a Pharisee: I saw that a great
company came to Jesus from Galilee
and Judea, and the sea-cost, and
many countries about Jordan; and
many infirm persons came to him,
and he healed them all.
33 And I heard the unclean spirits
crying out, and saying, Thou art the
Son of God. And Jesus strictly
charged them, that they should not
make him known.
34 After this another person, whose
name was Centurio, said, I saw Jesus
in Capernaum, and I entreated him,
saying, Lord, my servant lieth at
home sick of the palsy.
35 And Jesus said to me, I will come
and cure him.
36 But I said, Lord, I am not worthy
that thou shouldst come under my
roof; but only speak the word, and
my servant shall be healed.
37 And Jesus said unto me, Go thy
way; and as thou hast believed so be
it done unto thee. And my servant
was healed from that same hour.
38 Then a certain nobleman said, I
had a son in Capernaum, who lay at
the point of death; and when I heard
that Jesus was come into Galilee, I
went and besought him that he
would come down to my house, and
heal my son, for he was at the point
39 He said to me, Go thy way, thy
40 And my son was cured from that
41 Besides these, also many others
of the Jews, both men and Women,
cried out and said, He is truly the
Son of God, who cures all diseases
only by his word, and to whom the
devils are altogether subject.
42 Some of them farther said, This
power can proceed from none but
43 Pilate said to the Jews, Why are
not the devils subject to your doc-
44 Some of them said, The power
of subjecting devils cannot proceed
but from God.
45 But others said to Pilate, That he
had raised Lazarus from the dead,
after he had been four days in his
46 The governor hearing this, trem-
bling, said to the multitude of the
Jews, What will it profit you to shed
1 Pilate dismayed by the turbulence of the
Jews, 5 who demand Barabbas to be re-
leased, and Christ to be crucified. 9 Pil-
ate warmly expostulates with them, 20
washes his hands of Christ's blood, 23
and sentences him to be whipped and cru-
THEN Pilate having called together
Nicodemus, and the fifteen men who
said that Jesus was not born through
fornication, said to them, What shall
I do, seeing there is like to be a tu-
mult among the people.
2 They say unto him, We know not;
let them look to it who raise the tu-
3 Pilate then called the multitude
again, and said to them, Ye know
that ye have a custom, that I should
release to you one prisoner at the
feast of the passover:
4 I have a noted prisoner, a murder-
er, who is called Barabbas, and Jesus
who is called Christ, in whom I find
nothing that deserves death; which
of them, therefore, have you a mind
that I should release to you?
5 They all cry out, and say, Release
to us Barabbas.
6 Pilate saith to them, What then
shall I do with Jesus who is called
7 They all answer, Let him be cruci-
8 Again they cry out and say to Pil-
ate, You are not the friend of
Caesar, if you release this man; for
he hath declared that he is the Son
of God, and a king. But are you in-
clined that he should be king, and
9 Then Pilate filled with anger said
to them, Your nation hath always
been seditious, and you are always
against those who have been service-
able to you.
10 The Jews replied, Who are those
who have been serviceable to us?
11 Pilate answered them, Your God
who delivered you from the hard
bondage of the Egyptians, and
brought you over the Red Sea as
though it had been dry land, and fed
you in the wilderness with manna
and the flesh of quails, and brought
water out of the rock, and gave you
a law from heaven.
12 Ye provoked him all ways, and
desired for yourselves a molten calf,
and worshipped it, and sacrificed to
it, and said, These are thy Gods, O
Israel, which brought thee out of the
land of Egypt:
13 On account of which your God
was inclined to destroy you; but
Moses interceded for you, and your
God heard him, and forgave your
14 Afterwards ye were enraged
against, and would have killed your
prophets, Moses and Aaron, when
they fled to the tabernacle, and ye
were always murmuring against God
and his prophets.
15 And arising from his judgment
seat, he would have gone out; but
the Jews all cried out, "We acknow-
ledge Caesar to be king, and not Je-
16 Whereas this person, as soon as
he was born, the wise men came and
offered gifts unto him; which when
Herod heard, he was exceedingly
troubled, and would have killed him:
17 When his father knew this, he
fled with him and his mother Mary
into Egypt. Herod, when he heard he
was born, would have slain him; and
accordingly sent and slew all the
children which were in Bethlehem,
and in all the coasts thereof, from
two years old and under.
18 When Pilate heard this account,
he was afraid; and commanding si-
lence among the people, who made a
noise, he said to Jesus, Art thou
therefore a king?
19 All the Jews replied to Pilate, he
is the very person whom Herod
sought to have slain.
20 Then Pilate taking water, washed
his hands before the people and said,
I am innocent of the blood of this
just person; look ye to it.
21 The Jews answered and said, His
blood be upon us and our children.
22 Then Pilate commanded Jesus to
be brought before him, and spake to
him in the following words;
23 Thy own nation hath charged
thee as making thyself a king; where-
fore I, Pilate, sentence thee to be
whipped according to the laws of
former governors; and that thou be
first bound, then hanged upon a
cross in that place where thou art
now a prisoner; and also two crimin-
als with thee, whose names are Di-
mas and Gestas.
1 Manner of Christ's crucifixion with the
THEN Jesus went out of the hall,
and the two thieves with him.
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
2 And when they came to the place
which is called Golgotha, they stript
him of his raiment, and girt him
about with a linen cloth, and put a
crown of thorns upon his head, and
put a reed in his hand.
3 And in like manner did they to the
two thieves who were crucified with
him, Dimas on his right hand and
Gestas on his left.
4 But Jesus said, My Father, forgive
them, For they know not what they
5 And they divided his garments,
and upon his vesture they cast lots.
6 The people in the mean time
stood by, and the chief priests and
elders of the Jews mocked him, say-
ing, He saved others, let him now
save himself if he can; if he be the
son of God, let him now come down
from the cross.
7 The soldiers also mocked him, and
taking vinegar and gall, offered it to
him to drink, and said to him, If
thou art king of the Jews, deliver
8 Then Longinus, a certain soldier,
taking a spear,' pierced his side, and
presently there came forth blood and
9 And Pilate wrote the title upon
the cross in Hebrew, Latin, and
Greek letters, viz., THIS IS THE
KING OF THE JEWS.
10 But one of the two thieves who
were crucified with Jesus, whose
name was Gestas, said to Jesus, If
thou art the Christ, deliver thyself
11 But the thief who was crucified
on his right hand, whose name was
Dimas, answering, rebuked him, and
said, Dost not thou fear God, who
art condemned to this punishment?
We indeed receive rightly and justly
the demerit of our actions; but this
Jesus, what evil hath he done.
12 After this, groaning, he said to
Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou
comest into thy kingdom.
13 Jesus answering, said to him,
Verily I say unto thee, that this day
thou shalt be with me in Paradise.
1 Miraculous appearance at his death. 10
The Jews saj the eclipse was natural. 12
Joseph of Arimathcea embalms Christ's
body and buries it.
AND it was about the sixth hour,
and darkness was upon the face of
the whole earth until the ninth hour.
2 And while the sun was eclipsed,
behold the veil of the temple was
rent from the top, to the bottom;
and the rocks also were rent, and the
graves opened, and many bodies of
saints, which slept, arose.
3 And about the ninth hour Jesus
cried out with a loud voice, Eli, Eli,
lama sabacthani? which being inter-
preted is, My God, My God, why
hast thou forsaken me?
4 And after these things, Jesus said,
Father, into thy hands I commend
my spirit; and having said this, he
gave up the ghost.
5 But when the centurion saw that
Jesus thus crying out gave up the
ghost, he glorified God, and said, Of
a truth this was a just man.
6 And all the people who stood by,
were exceedingly troubled at the
sight; and reflecting upon what had
passed, smote upon their breasts,
and then returned to the city of Jer-
7 The centurion went to the gov-
ernor, and related to him all that had
8 And when he had heard all these
things, he was exceedingly sorrowful;
9 And calling the Jews together, said
to them, Have ye seen the miracle of
the sun's eclipse, and the other
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
things which came to pass, while Je-
sus was dying?
10 Which when the Jews heard, they
answered to the governor, The ec-
lipse of the sun happened according
to its usual custom.
11 But all those who were the ac-
quaintance of Christ, stood at a dis-
tance, as did the women who had
followed Jesus from Galilee, ob-
serving all these things.
12 And behold a certain man of Ar-
imathaea, named Joseph, who was
also a disciple of Jesus, but not
openly so, for fear of the Jews, came
to the governor, and entreated the
governor that he would give him
leave to take away the body of Jesus
from the cross.
13 And the governor gave him leave.
14 And Nicodemus came, bringing
with him a mixture of myrrh and
aloes about a hundred pounds
weight; and they took down Jesus
from the cross with tears, and bound
him in linen cloths with spices, ac-
cording to the custom of burying
among the Jews;
15 And placed him in a new tomb,
which Joseph had built, and caused
to be cut out of a rock, in which
never any man had been put; and
they rolled a great stone to the door
of the sepulchre.
1 The Jews angry with Nicodemus: 5 and
with, Joseph of Arimathaea, 7 whom they
WHEN the unjust Jews heard that
Joseph had begged and buried the
body of Jesus, they sought after
Nicodemus, and those fifteen men
who had testified before the gov-
ernor, that Jesus was not born
through fornication, and other good
persons who had shown any good ac-
tions towards him.
2 But when they all concealed them-
selves through fear of the Jews,
Nicodemus alone showed himself to
them, and said, How can such per-
sons as these enter into the syn-
3 The Jews answered him, But how
durst thou enter into the synagogue,
who wast a confederate with Christ?
Let thy lot be along with him in the
4 Nicodemus answered, Amen; so
may it be, that I may have my lot
with him in his kingdom.
5 In like manner Joseph, when he
came to the Jews, said to them, Why
are ye angry with me for desiring the
body of Jesus of Pilate? Behold, I
have put him in my tomb, and
wrapped him up in clean linen, and
put a stone at the door of the sep-
6 I have acted rightly towards him;
but ye have acted unjustly against
that just person, in crucifying him,
giving him vinegar to drink, crown-
ing him with thorns, tearing his body
with whips, and praying down the
guilt of his blood upon you.
7 The Jews at the hearing of this
were disquieted and troubled; and
they seized Joseph, and commanded
him to be put in custody before the
Sabbath, and kept there till the Sab-
bath was over.
8 And they said to him, Make con-
fession; for at this time it is not law-
ful to do thee any harm, till the first
day of the week come. But we know
that thou wilt not be thought worthy
of a burial; but we will give thy flesh
to the birds of the air, and the
beasts of the earth.
9 Joseph answered, That speech is
like the speech of proud Goliath,
who reproached the living God in
speaking against David. But ye
scribes and doctors know that God
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
saith by the prophet, Vengeance is
mine, and I will repay to you evil
equal to that which ye have
threatened to me.
10 The God whom you have hanged
upon the cross, is able to deliver me
out of your hands. All your wicked-
ness will return upon you.
11 For the governor, when he
washed his hands, said, I am clear
from the blood of this just person.
But ye answered and cried out, His
blood be upon us and our children.
According as ye have said, may ye
perish for ever.
12 The elders of the Jews hearing
these words, were exceedingly en-
raged; and seizing Joseph, they put
him into a chamber where there was
no window; they fastened the door,
and put a seal upon the lock;
13 And Annas and Caiaphas placed a
guard upon it, and took counsel with
the priests and Levites, that they
should all meet after the Sabbath,
and they contrived to what death
they should put Joseph.
14 When they had done this, the
rulers, Annas and Caiaphas, ordered
Joseph to be brought forth. (In this
place there is a portion of the Gos-
pel lost or omitted, which cannot be
supplied. It may, nevertheless, be
surmised from the occurrence re-
lated in the next chapter, that the or-
der of Annas and Caiaphas were
rendered unnecessary by Joseph's
miraculous escape, and which was
announced to an assembly of
1 Joseph's escape. 2 The soldiers relate
Christ's resurrection. 18 Christ is seen
preaching in Galilee. 21 The Jews repent
of their cruelty to him.
WHEN all the assembly heard this
(about Joseph's escape), they ad-
mired and were astonished, because
they found the same seal upon the
lock of the chamber, and could not
2 Then Annas and Caiaphas went
forth, and while they were all admir-
ing at Joseph's being gone, behold
one of the soldiers, who kept the
sepulchre of Jesus, spake in the as-
3 That while they were guarding the
sepulchre of Jesus, there was an
earthquake; and we saw an angel of
God roll away the stone of the sep-
ulchre and sit upon it;
4 And his countenance was like
lightning and his garment like snow;
and we became through fear like per-
5 And we heard an angel saying to
the women at the sepulchre of Jesus,
Do not fear; I know that you seek Je-
sus who was crucified; he is risen as
6 Come and see the place where he
was laid; and go presently, and tell
his disciples that he is risen from the
dead; and he will go before you into
Galilee; there ye shall see him as he
7 Then the Jews called together all
the soldiers who kept the sepulchre
of Jesus, and said to them, Who are
those women, to whom the angel
spoke? Why did ye not seize them.
8 The soldiers answered and said,
We know not who the women were;
besides we became as dead persons
through fear, and how could we seize
9 The Jews said to them, As the
Lord liveth, we do not believe you;
10 The soldiers answering said to
the Jews, when ye saw and heard Je-
sus working so many miracles, and
did not believe him, how should ye
believe us? Ye well said, As the Lord
liveth, for the Lord truly does live.
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
11 We have heard that ye shut up
Joseph, who buried the body of Je-
sus, in a chamber, under a lock
which was sealed; and when ye
opened it, found him not there.
12 Do ye then produce Joseph
whom ye put under guard in the
chamber, and we will produce Jesus
whom we guarded in the sepulchre.
13 The Jews answered and said, We
will produce Joseph, do ye produce
Jesus. But Joseph is in his own city
14 The soldiers replied, If Joseph
be in Arimathaea, and Jesus in Ga-
lilee, we heard the angel inform the
15 The Jews hearing this, were
afraid, and said among themselves,
If by any means these things should
become public, then everybody will
believe in Jesus.
16 Then they gathered a large sum
of money, and gave it to the soldiers,
saying, Do ye tell the people that the
disciples of Jesus came in the night
when ye were asleep, and stole away
the body of Jesus; and if Pilate the
governor should hear of this, we will
satisfy him and secure you.
17 The soldiers accordingly took the
money, and said as they were instruc-
ted by the Jews; and their report was
spread abroad among all the people.
18 But a certain priest Phinees, Ada
a schoolmaster, and a Levite, named
Ageus, they three came from Galilee
to Jerusalem, and told the chief
priests and all who were in the syn-
19 We have seen Jesus, whom ye
crucified, talking with his eleven dis-
ciples, and sitting in the midst of
them in Mount Olivet, and saying to
20 Go forth into the whole world,
preach the Gospel to all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the
Father, and the Son, and the Holy
Ghost; and whosoever shall believe
and be baptized, shall be saved.
21 And when he had said these
things to his disciples, we saw him
ascending up to heaven.
22 When the chief priests and eld-
ers, and Levites heard these things,
they said to these three men, Give
glory to the God of Israel, and make
confession to him, whether those
things are true, which ye say ye have
seen and heard.
23 They answering said, As the Lord
of our fathers liveth, the God of
Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and
the God of Jacob, according as we
heard Jesus talking with his disciples,
and according as we saw him ascend-
ing up to heaven, so we have related
the truth to you.
24 And the three men farther
answered, and said, adding these
words, If we should not own the
words which we heard Jesus speak,
and that we saw him ascending into
heaven, we should be guilty of sin.
25 Then the chief priests immedi-
ately rose up, and holding the book
of the law in their hands, conjured
these men, saying, Ye shall no more
hereafter declare those things which
ye have spoken concerning Jesus.
26 And they gave them a large sum
of money, and sent other persons
along with them, who should con-
duct them to their own country, that
they might not by any means make
any stay at Jerusalem.
27 Then the Jews did assemble all
together, and having expressed the
most lamentable concern said, What
is this extraordinary thing which is
come to pass in Jerusalem?
28 But Annas and Caiaphas comfor-
ted them, saying, Why should we be-
lieve the soldiers who guarded the
sepulchre of Jesus, in telling us, that
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
an angel rolled away the stone from
the door of the sepulchre?
29 Perhaps his own disciples told
them this, and gave them money that
they should say so, and they them-
selves took away the body of Jesus.
30 Besides, consider this, that there
is no credit to be given to foreigners,
because they also took a large sum
of us, and they have declared to us
according to the instructions which
we gave them. They must either be
faithful to us or to the disciples of
1 Nicodemus counsels the Jews. 6 Joseph
found. 11 Invited by the Jews to return. 19
delates the manner of his miraculous es-
THEN Nicodemus arose, and said,
Ye say right, O sons of Israel; ye
have heard what those three men
have sworn by the Law of God, who
said, We have seen Jesus speaking
with his disciples upon mount Oliv-
et, and we saw him ascending up to
2 And the scripture teacheth us that
the blessed prophet Elijah was taken
up to heaven, and Elisha being asked
by the sons of the prophets, Where
is our father Elijah? He said to them,
that he is taken up to heaven.
3 And the sons of the prophets said
to him, Perhaps the spirit hath car-
ried him into one of the mountains
of Israel, there perhaps we shall find
him. And they besought Elisha, and
he walked about with them three
days, and they could not find him.
4 And now hear me, O sons of Is-
rael, and let us send men into the
mountains of Israel, lest perhaps the
spirit hath carried away Jesus, and
there perhaps we shall find him, and
5 And the counsel of Nicodemus
pleased all the people; and they sent
forth men who sought for Jesus, but
could not find him; and they return-
ing, said, We went all about, but
could not find Jesus, but we have
found Joseph in his city of Arimath-
6 The rulers hearing this, and all the
people, were glad, and praised the
God of Israel, because Joseph was
found, whom they had shut up in a
chamber, and could not find.
7 And when they had formed a large
assembly, the chief priests said, By
what means shall we bring Joseph to
us to speak with him?
8 And taking a piece of paper, they
wrote to him, and said, Peace be
with thee, and all thy family, We
know that we have offended against
God and thee. Be pleased to give a
visit to us, your fathers, for we were
perfectly surprised at your escape
9 We know that it was malicious
counsel which we took against thee,
and that the Lord took care of thee,
and the Lord himself delivered thee
from our designs. Peace be unto
thee, Joseph, who art honourable
among all the people.
10 And they chose seven of Joseph's
friends, and said to them, When ye
come to Joseph, salute him in peace,
and give him this letter.
11 Accordingly, when the men came
to Joseph, they did salute him in
peace, and gave him the letter.
12 And when Joseph had read it, he
said, Blessed be the Lord God, who
didst deliver me from the Israelites,
that they could not shed my blood.
Blessed be God, who hast protected
me under thy wings.
13 And Joseph kissed them, and
took them into his house. And on
the morrow, Joseph mounted his ass,
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
and went along with them to Jerus-
14 And when all the Jews heard
these things, they went out to meet
him, and cried out, saying, Peace at-
tend thy coming hither, father
15 To which he answered, Prosperity
from the Lord attend all the people.
13 And they all kissed him; and
Nicodemus took him to his house,
having prepared a large entertain-
17 But on the morrow, being a pre-
paration-day, Annas, and Caiaphas,
and Nicodemus, said to Joseph,
Make confession to the God of Is-
rael, and answer to us all those ques-
tions which we shall ask thee;
18 For we have been very much
troubled, that thou didst bury the
body of Jesus; and that when we had
locked thee in a chamber, we could
not find thee; and we have been
afraid ever since, till this time of thy
appearing among us. Tell us there-
fore before God, all that came to
19 Then Joseph answering, said Ye
did indeed put me under confine-
ment, on the day of preparation, till
20 But while I was standing at pray-
er in the middle of the night, the
house was surrounded with four an-
gels; and I saw Jesus as the bright-
ness of the sun, and fell down upon
the earth for fear.
21 But Jesus laying hold on my
hand, lifted me from the ground, and
the dew was then sprinkled upon me;
but he, wiping my face, kissed me,
and said unto me, Fear not, Joseph;
look upon me for it is I.
22 Then I looked upon him, and
said, Rabboni Elias! He answered
me, I am not Elias, but Jesus of
Nazareth, whose body thou didst
23 I said to him, show me the tomb
in which I laid thee.
24 Then Jesus, taking me by the
hand, led me unto the place where I
laid him, and showed me the linen
clothes, and napkin which I put
round his head. Then I knew that it
was Jesus, and worshipped him, and
said; Blessed be he who cometh in
the name of the Lord.
25 Jesus again taking me by the
hand, led me to Arimathaea, to my
own house, and said to me, Peace be
to thee; but go not out of thy house
till the fortieth day; but I must go to
1 The Jews astonished and confounded. 16
Simeon's two sons, Charinus and Tenthi-
us, rise from the dead at Christ' s cruci-
fixion. 19 Joseph proposes to get them to
relate the mysteries of their resurrection.
21 They are sought and found, 22 brought
to the synagogue, 23 privately sworn to
secrecy, 25 and undertake to write what
they had seen.
WHEN the chief priests and Levites
heard all these things, they were as-
tonished, and fell down with their
faces on the ground as dead men,
and crying out to one another, said,
What is this extraordinary sign which
is come to pass in Jerusalem? We
know the father and mother of Jesus.
2 And a certain Levite said, I know
many of his relations, religions per-
sons, who are wont to offer sacri-
fices and burnt-offerings to the God
of Israel, in the temple, with prayers.
3 And when the high-priest Simeon
took him up in his arms, he said to
him, Lord, now lettest thou thy ser-
vant depart in peace, according to
thy word; for mine eyes have seen
thy salvation, which then halt pre-
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
pared before the face of all people; a
light to enlighten the Gentiles, and
the glory of thy people Israel.
4 Simeon in like manner blessed
Mary the Mother of Jesus, and said
to her, I declare to thee concerning
that child; He is appointed for the
fall and rising again of many, and for
a sign which shall be spoken against;
5 Yea, a sword shall pierce through
thine own soul also, and the
thoughts of many hearts shall he re-
6 Then said all the Jews, Let us send
to those three men, who said they
saw him talking with his disciples in
7 After this, they asked them what
they had seen; who answered with
one accord, In the presence of the
God of Israel we affirm, that we
plainly saw Jesus talking with his dis-
ciples in Mount Olivet, and ascend-
ing up to heaven.
8 Then Annas and Caiaphas took
them into separate places, and ex-
amined them separately; who unan-
imously confessed the truth, and
said, they had seen Jesus.
9 Then Annas and Caiaphas said
"Our law saith, By the mouth of two
or three witnesses every word shall
10 But what have we said? The
blessed Enoch pleased God, and was
translated by the word of God; and
the burying-place of the blessed
Moses is known.
11 But Jesus was delivered to Pilate,
whipped, crowned with thorns, spit
upon, pierced with a spear, crucified,
died upon the cross, and was buried,
and his body the honourable Joseph
buried in a new sepulchre, and he
testifies that he saw him alive.
12 And besides, these men have de-
clared, that they saw him talking
with his disciples in Mount Olivet,
and ascending up to heaven.
13 Then Joseph rising up, said to
Annas and Caiaphas, Ye may be
justly under a great surprise, that
you have been told, that Jesus is
alive, and gone up to heaven.
14 It is indeed a thing really surpris-
ing, that he should not only himself
arise from the dead, but also raise
others from their graves, who have
been seen by many in Jerusalem.
15 And now hear me a little We all
knew the blessed Simeon, the high-
priest, who took Jesus when an in-
fant into his arms in the temple.
16 This same Simeon had two sons
of his own, and we were all present
at their death and funeral.
17 Go therefore and see their
tombs, for these are open, and they
are risen: and behold, they are in the
city of Arimathaea, spending their
time together in offices of devotion.
18 Some, indeed, have heard the
sound of their voices in prayer, but
they will not discourse with anyone,
but they continue as mute as dead
19 But come, let us go to them, and
behave ourselves towards them with
all due respect and caution. And if
we can bring them to swear, perhaps
they will tell us some of the myster-
ies of their resurrection.
20 When the Jews heard this they
were exceedingly rejoiced.
21 Then Annas and Caiaphas,
Nicodemus, Joseph, and Gamaliel,
went to Arimathaea, but did not find
them in their graves; but walking
about the city, they found them on
their bended knees at their devo-
22 Then saluting them with all re-
spect and deference to God, they
brought them to the synagogue at
Jerusalem; and having shut the gates,
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
they took the book of the law of the
23 And putting it in their hands,
swore them by God Adonai, and the
God of Israel, who spake to our
fathers by the law and the prophets,
saying, If ye believe him who raised
you from the dead, to be Jesus, tell
us what ye have seen, and how ye
were raised from the dead.
24 Charinus and Lenthius, the two
sons of Simeon, trembled when they
heard these things, and were dis-
turbed, and groaned; and at the same
time looking up to heaven, they
made the sign of the cross with their
fingers on their tongues,
25 And immediately they spake, and
said, Give each of us some paper,
and we will write down for you all
those things which we have seen.
And they each sat down and wrote,
1 The narrative of Charinus and Lenthi-
us commences. 3 A great light in hell. 7
Simeon arrives, and announces the coming
O LORD Jesus and Father, who art
God, also the resurrection and life
of the dead, give us leave to declare
thy mysteries, which we saw after
death, belonging to thy cross; for we
are sworn by thy name.
2 For thou hast forbidden thy ser-
vants to declare the secret things,
which were wrought by thy divine
power in hell.
3 When we were Placed with our
fathers in the dept of hell, in the
blackness of darkness, on a sudden
there appeared the colour of the sun
like gold, and a substantial purple-
coloured light enlightening the place.
4 Presently upon this, Adam, the
father of all mankind, with all the
patriarchs and prophets, rejoiced and
said, That light is the author of
everlasting light, who hath promised
to translate us to everlasting light.
5 Then Isaiah the prophet cried out
and said, This is the light of the
Father, and the Son of God, accord-
ing to my prophecy, when I was alive
6 The land of Zabulon, and the land
of Nephthalim, beyond Jordan, a
people who walked in darkness, saw
a great light; and to them who dwell-
ed in the region of the shadow of
death, light is arisen. And now he is
come, and hath enlightened us who
sat in death.
7 And while we were all rejoicing in
the light which shone upon us, our
father Simeon came among us, and
congratulating all the company, said,
Glorify the Lord Jesus Christ the
Son of God.
8 Whom I took up in my arms when
an infant in the temple, and being
moved by the Holy Ghost, said to
him, and acknowledged, That now
mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
which thou hast prepared before the
face of all people; a light to enlight-
en the Gentiles, and the glory of thy
9 All the saints who were in the
depth of hell, hearing this, rejoiced
10 Afterwards there came forth one
like a little hermit, and was asked by
every one, Who art thou?
11 To which he replied, I am the
voice of one crying in the wilder-
ness, John the Baptist, and the
prophet of the Most High, who went
before his coming to prepare his
way, to give the knowledge of salva-
tion to his people for the forgiveness
12 And I, John, when I saw Jesus
coming to me, being moved by the
Holy Ghost, I said, Behold the Lamb
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
of God, behold him who takes away
the sins of the world.
13 And I baptized him in the river
Jordan, and saw the Holy Ghost des-
cending upon him in the form of a
dove, and heard a voice from heaven
saying, This is my beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased.
14 And now while I was going be-
fore him, I came down hither to ac-
quaint you, that the Son of God will
next visit us, and, as the day-spring
from on high, will come to us, who
are in darkness and the shadow of
1 Adam causes Seth to relate what he
heard from Michael the archangel, when
he sent him to Paradise to entreat God to
anoint his head in his sickness.
BUT when the first man our father
Adam heard these things, that Jesus
was baptized in Jordan, he called out
to his son Seth, and said,
2 Declare to your sons, the patri-
archs and prophets, all those things,
which thou didst hear from Michael,
the archangel, when I sent thee to
the gates of Paradise, to entreat God
that he would annoint my head when
I was sick.
3 Then Seth, coming near to the
patriarchs and prophets, said, I,
Seth, when I was praying to God at
the gates of Paradise, beheld the an-
gel of the Lord, Michael, appear
unto me, saying, I am sent unto thee
from the Lord; I am appointed to
preside over human bodies.
4 I tell thee, Seth, do not pray to
God in tears, and entreat him for the
oil of the tree of mercy wherewith
to anoint thy father Adam for his
5 Because thou canst not by any
means obtain it till the last day and
times, namely, till five thousand and
five hundred years be past.
6 Then will Christ, the most merci-
ful Son of God, come on earth to
raise again the human body of
Adam, and at the same time to raise
the bodies of the dead, and when he
cometh he will be baptized in
7 Then with the oil of his mercyhe
will anoint all those who believe in
him; and the oil of his mercy will
continue to future generations, for
those who shall be born of the water
and the Holy Ghost unto eternal life.
8 And when at that time the most
merciful Son of God, Christ Jesus,
shall come down on earth, he will in-
troduce our father Adam into Para-
dise, to the tree of mercy.
9 When all the patriarchs and
prophets heard all these things from
Seth, they rejoiced more.
1 Quarrel between Satan and the prince
of hell, concerning the expected arrival of
Christ in hell.
WHILE all the saints were rejoicing,
behold Satan, the prince and captain
of death, said to the prince of hell,
2 Prepare to receive Jesus of Naz-
areth himself, who boasted that he
was the Son of God, and yet was a
man afraid of death, and said, My
soul is sorrowful even to death.
3 Besides he did many injuries to
me and to many others; for those
whom I made blind and lame and
those also whom I tormented with
several devils, he cured by his word;
yea, and those whom I brought dead
to thee, he by force takes away from
4 To this the prince of hell replied
to Satan, Who is that so powerful
prince, and yet a man who is afraid
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
5 For all the potentates of the earth
are subject to my power, whom thou
broughtest to subjection by thy
6 But if he be so powerful in his
human nature, I affirm to thee for
truth, that he is almighty in his di-
vine nature, and no man can resist
7 When therefore he said he was
afraid of death, he designed to en-
snare thee, and unhappy it will be to
thee for everlasting ages,
8 Then Satan replying, said to the
prince of hell, Why didst thou ex-
press a doubt, and wast afraid to re-
ceive that Jesus of Nazareth, both
thy adversary and mine?
9 As for me, I tempted him and
stirred up my old people the Jews
with zeal and anger against him;
10 I sharpened the spear for his suf-
fering; I mixed the gall and vinegar,
and commanded that he should drink
it; I prepared the cross to crucify
him, and the nails to pierce through
his hands and feet; and now his
death is near at hand, I will bring
him hither, subject both to thee and
11 Then the prince of hell answer-
ing, said, Thou saidst to me just
now, that he took away the dead
from me by force.
12 They who have been kept here
till they should live again upon
earth, were taken away hence, not by
their own power, but by prayers
made to God, and their almighty
God took them from me.
13 Who then is that Jesus of Naz-
areth that by his word hath taken
away the dead from me without pray-
er to God?
14 Perhaps it is the same who took
away from me Lazarus, after he had
been four days dead, and did both
stink and was rotten, and of whom I
had possession as a dead person, yet
he brought him to life again by his
15 Satan answering, replied to the
prince of hell, It is the very same
person, Jesus of Nazareth.
16 Which when the prince of hell
heard, he said to him, I adjure thee
by the powers which belong to thee
and me, that thou bring him not to
17 For when I heard of the power
of his word, I trembled for fear, and
all my impious company were at the
18 And we were not able to detain
Lazarus, but he gave himself a
shake, and with all the signs of
malice he immediately went away
from us; and the very earth, in which
the dead body of Lazarus was
lodged, presently turned him out
19 And I know now that he is
Almighty God who could perform
such things, who is mighty in his
dominion, and mighty in his human
nature, who is the Saviour of man-
20 Bring not therefore this person
hither, for he will set at liberty all
those whom I hold in prison under
unbelief, and bound with the fetters
of their sins, and will conduct them
to everlasting life.
1 Christ's arrival at hell-gates; the confu-
sion thereupon. 19 He descends into hell.
AND while Satan and the Prince of
hell were discoursing thus to each
other, on a sudden there was a voice
as of thunder, and the rushing of
winds, saying, Lift up your gates, O
ye princes; and be ye lift up, O ever-
lasting gates, and the King of Glory
shall come in.
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
2 When the prince of hell heard
this, he said to Satan, Depart from
me, and begone out of my habita-
tions; if thou art a powerful warrior,
fight with the King of Glory. But
what hast thou to do with him?
3 And he cast him forth from his
4 And the prince said to his impious
officers, Shut the brass gates of
cruelty, and make them fast with iron
bars, and fight courageously, lest we
be taken captives.
5 But when all the company of the
saints heard this they spake with a
loud voice of anger to the prince of
6 Open thy gates, that the King of
Glory may come in.
7 And the divine prophet David
cried out, saying, Did not I, when on
earth, truly prophesy and say, O that
men would praise the Lord for his
goodness, and for his wonderful
works to the children of men!
8 For he hath broken the gates of
brass, and cut the bars of iron in
sunder. He hath taken them because
of their iniquity, and because of
their unrighteousness they are afflic-
9 After this, another prophet,
namely, holy Isaiah, spake in like
manner to all the saints, Did not I
rightly prophesy to you when I was
alive on earth?
10 The dead men shall live, and they
shall rise again who are in their
graves, and they shall rejoice who are
in the earth; for the dew which is
from the Lord, shall bring deliver-
ance to them.
11 And I said in another place, O
grave, where is thy victory? O death,
where is thy sting?
12 When all the saints heard these
things spoken by Isaiah, they said to
the prince of hell, Open now thy
gates, and take away thine iron bars;
for thou wilt now be bound, and
have no power.
13 Then was there a great voice, as
of the sound of thunder, saying, Lift
up your gates, O princes; and be ye
lifted up, ye gates of hell, and the
King of Glory will enter in.
14 The prince of hell perceiving the
same voice repeated, cried out, as
though he had been ignorant, Who is
that King of Glory?
15 David replied to the prince of
hell, and said, I understand the
words of that voice, because I spake
them in his spirit. And now, as I
have before said, I say unto thee, the
Lord strong and powerful, the Lord
mighty in battle: he is the King of
Glory, and he is the Lord in heaven
and in earth.
16 He hath looked down to hear the
groans of the prisoners, and to set
loose those that are appointed to
17 And now, thou filthy and stinking
prince of hell, open thy gates, that
the King of Glory may enter in; for
he is the Lord of heaven and earth.
18 While David was saying this, the
mighty Lord appeared in the form of
a man, and enlightened those places
which had ever before been in dark-
19 And broke asunder the fetters
which before could not be broken;
and with his invincible power visited
those who sate in the deep darkness
by iniquity, and the shadow of death
1 Death and the devils in great horror at
Christ ' s coming. 13 He tramples on death,
seizes the prince of hell, and takes Adam
with him to Heaven.
IMPIOUS death and her cruel of-
ficers hearing these things, were
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
seized with fear in their several king-
doms, when they saw the clearness
of the light,
2 And Christ himself on a sudden
appearing in their habitations, they
cried out therefore, and said, We are
bound by thee; thou seemest to in-
tend our confusion before the Lord.
3 Who art thou, who has no signs
of corruption, but that bright ap-
pearance which is a full proof of thy
greatness, of which yet thou seemest
to take no notice?
4 Who art thou, so powerful, and so
weak, so great and so little; mean,
and yet a soldier of the first rank,
who can command in the form of a
servant and a common soldier?
5 The king of Glory, dead and alive,
though once slain upon the cross?
6 Who layest dead in the grave, and
art come down alive to us, and in thy
death all the creatures trembled, and
all the stars were moved; and now
hast thy liberty among the dead, and
givest disturbance to our legions?
7 Who art thou, who dost release
the captives that were held in chains
by original sin, and bringest them
into their former liberty?
8 Who art thou, who dost spread so
glorious and divine a light over those
who were made blind by the dark-
ness of sin?
9 In like manner all the legions of
devils were seized with the like hor-
ror, and with the most submissive
fear cried out, and said,
10 Whence comes it, O thou Jesus
Christ, that thou art a man so power-
ful and glorious in majesty so bright
as to have no spot, and so pure as to
have no crime? For that lower world
of earth, which was ever till now
subject to us, and from whence we
received tribute, never sent us such a
dead man before, never sent such
presents as these to the princes of
11 Who therefore art thou, who with
such courage enterest among our
abodes, and art not only not afraid
to threaten us with the greatest pun-
ishments, but also endeavourest to
rescue all others from the chains in
which we hold them?
12 Perhaps thou art that Jesus, of
whom Satan just now spoke to our
prince, that by the death of the cross
thou wert about to receive the power
13 Then the King of Glory tramp-
ling upon death, seized the prince of
hell, deprived him of all his power,
and took our earthly father Adam
with him to his glory.
1 Beelzebub, prince of hell, vehemently
upbraids Satan for persecuting Christ and
bringing him to hell. 14 Christ gives
Beelzebub dominion over Satan forever, as
a recompence for taking away Adam and
THEN the prince of hell took
Satan, and with great indignation
said to him, O thou prince of de-
struction, author of Beelzebub's de-
feat and banishment, the scorn of
God's angels and loathed by all
righteous persons! What inclined
thee to act thus?
2 Thou wouldst crucify the King of
Glory, and by his destruction, hast
made us promises of very large ad-
vantages, but as a fool wert ignorant
of what thou wast about.
3 For behold now that Jesus of
Nazareth, with the brightness of his
glorious divinity, puts to flight all
the horrid powers of darkness and
4 He has broke down our prisons
from top to bottom, dismissed all
the captives, released all who were
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
bound, and all who were wont
formerly to groan under the weight
of their torments, have now insulted
us, and we are like to be defeated by
5 Our impious dominions are sub-
dued, and no part of mankind is now
left in our subjection, but on the
other hand, they all boldly defy us;
6 Though, before, the dead never
durst behave themselves insolently
towards us, nor being prisoners,
could ever on any occasion be merry.
7 O Satan, thou prince of all the
wicked, father of the impious and
abandoned, why wouldest thou at-
tempt this exploit, seeing our prison-
ers were hitherto always without the
least hope of salvation and life?
8 But now there is not one of them
does ever groan, nor is there the
least appearance of a tear in any of
9 O prince Satan, thou great keeper
of the infernal regions, all thy ad-
vantages which thou didst acquire by
the forbidden tree, and the loss of
Paradise, thou hast now lost by the
wood of the cross;
10 And thy happiness all then ex-
pired, when thou didst crucify Jesus
Christ the King of Glory.
11 Thou hast acted against thine
own interest and mine, as thou wilt
presently perceive by those large tor-
ments and infinite punishments
which thou art about to suffer.
12 O Satan, prince of all evil, au-
thor of death, and source of all
pride, thou shouldest first have in-
quired into the evil crimes of Jesus
of Nazareth, and then thou wouldest
have found that he was guilty of no
fault worthy of death.
13 Why didst thou venture, without
either reason or justice, to crucify
him, and hast brought down to our
regions a person innocent and right-
eous, and thereby hast lost all the
sinners, impious and unrighteous
persons in the whole world?
14 While the prince of hell was thus
speaking to Satan, the King of Glory
said to Beelzebub the prince of hell,
Satan the prince shall he subject to
thy dominions for ever, in the room
of Adam and his righteous sons, who
1 Christ takes Adam by the hand, the
rest of the saints join hands, and thej all
ascend with him to Paradise.
THEN Jesus stretched forth his
hand, and said, Come to me, all ye
my saints, who were created in my
image, who were condemned by the
tree of the forbidden fruit, and by
the devil and death;
2 Live now by the wood of my
cross; the devil, the prince of this
world, is overcome, and death is
3 Then presently all the saints were
joined together under the hand of
the most high God; and the Lord Je-
sus laid hold on Adam's hand, and
said to him, Peace be to thee, and all
thy righteous posterity, which is
4 Then Adam, casting himself at the
feet of Jesus, addressed himself to
him with tears, in humble language,
and a loud voice, saying,
5 "I will extol thee, O Lord, for
thou halt lifted me up, and hast not
made my foes to rejoice over me. O
Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and
thou hast healed me."
6 "O Lord thou hast brought up my
soul from the grave; thou hast kept
me alive, that I should not go down
to the pit."
7 "Sing unto the Lord, all ye saints
of his, and give thanks at the re-
membrance of his holiness, for his
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
anger endureth but for a moment; in
his favour is life."
8 In like manner all the saints, pros-
trate at the feet of Jesus, said with
one voice, Thou art come, O Re-
deemer of the world, and hast actu-
ally accomplished all things, which
thou didst foretell by the law and thy
9 Thou hast redeemed the living by
thy cross, and art come down to us,
that by the death of the cross thou
mightest deliver us from hell, and by
thy power from death.
10 O Lord, as thou hast put the en-
signs of thy glory in heaven, and
hast set up the sign of thy redemp-
tion, even thy cross on earth; so,
Lord, set the sign of the victory of
thy cross in hell, that death may have
dominion no longer.
11 Then the Lord stretching forth
his hand, made the sign of the cross
upon Adam, and upon all his saints.
12 And taking hold of Adam by his
right hand, he ascended from hell,
and all the saints of God followed
13 Then the royal prophet, David,
boldly cried, and said, O sing unto
the Lord a new song, for he hath
done marvellous things; his right
hand and his holy arm have gotten
him the victory.
14 The Lord hath made known his
salvation, his righteousness hath he
openly shewn in the sight of the
15 And the whole multitude of
saints answered, saying, This honour
have all his saints, Amen, Praise ye
16 Afterwards, the prophet Habbak-
uk cried out, and said, Thou wentest
forth for the salvation of thy people,
even for salvation with thine anoin-
17 And all the saints said, Blessed is
he who cometh in the name of the
Lord; for the Lord hath enlightened
us. This is our God for ever and
ever; he shall reign over us to ever-
lasting ages. Amen.
18 In like manner all the prophets
spake the sacred things of his praise,
and followed the Lord.
1 Christ delivers Adam to Michael the
archangel. 3 They meet Enoch and Elijah
in heaven, 5 and also the blessed thief,
who relates how he came to Paradise.
THEN the Lord, holding Adam by
the hand, delivered him to Michael
the archangel; and he led them into
Paradise, filled with mercy and glory;
2 And two very ancient men met
them, and were asked by the saints,
Who are ye, who have not yet been
with us in hell, and have had your
bodies placed in Paradise?
3 One of them answering, said, I am
Enoch, who was translated by the
word of God: and this man who is
with me, is Elijah the Tishbite, who
was translated in a fiery chariot.
4 Here we have hitherto been, and
have not tasted death, but are now
about to return at the coming of An-
tichrist, being armed with divine
signs and miracles, to engage with
him in battle, and to be slain by him
at Jerusalem, and to be taken up
alive again into the clouds, after
three days and a half.
5 And while the holy Enoch and
Elias were relating this, behold there
came another man in a miserable fig-
ure, carrying the sign of the cross
upon his shoulders.
6 And when all the saints saw him,
they said to him, Who art thou? For
thy countenance is like a thief's; and
why dost thou carry a cross upon thy
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
7 To which he answering, said, Ye
say right, for I was a thief, who com-
mitted all sorts of wicked, ness upon
8 And the Jews crucified me with
Jesus; and I observed the surprising
things which happened in the cre-
ation at the crucifixion of the Lord
9 And I believed him to be the Cre-
ator of all things, and the Almighty
King; and I prayed to him, saying,
Lord remember me, when thou
comest into thy kingdom.
10 He presently regarded my sup-
plication, and said to me, Verily I say
unto thee, this day thou shalt be
with me in Paradise.
11 And he gave me this sign of the
cross, saying, Carry this, and go to
Paradise; and if the angel who is the
guard of Paradise will not admit
thee, show him the sign of the cross,
and say unto him Jesus Christ who is
now crucified, hath sent me hither to
12 When I did this and told the an-
gel who is the guard of Paradise all
these things, and he heard them, he
presently opened the gates, intro-
duced me, and placed me on the
right hand in Paradise,
13 Saying, Stay here a little time, till
Adam, the father of all mankind,
shall enter in, with all his sons, who
are the holy and righteous servants
of Jesus Christ, who was crucified.
14 When they heard all this account
from the thief, all the patriarchs said
with one voice, Blessed be thou, O
Almighty God, the Father of ever-
lasting goodness, and the Father of
mercies, who hast shown such favour
to those who were sinners against
him, and hast brought them to the
mercy of Paradise, and hast placed
them amidst thy large and spiritual
provisions, in a spiritual and holy
1 Charinus and l^enthius being only al-
lowed three days to remain on earth, 7 de-
liver in their narratives, which miracu-
lously correspond; they vanish, 13 and Pi-
late records these transactions.
THESE are the divine and sacred
mysteries which we saw and heard.
We, Charinus and Lenthius are not
allowed to declare the other myster-
ies of God, as the archangel Michael
2 Saying, ye shall go with my
brethren to Jerusalem, and shall con-
tinue in prayers, declaring and glori-
fying the resurrection of Jesus
Christ, seeing he hath raised you
from the dead at the same time with
3 And ye shall not talk with any
man, but sit as dumb persons till the
time come when the Lord will allow
you to relate the mysteries of his di-
4 The archangel Michael farther
commanded us to go beyond Jordan,
to an excellent and fat country,
where there are many who rose from
the dead along with us for the proof
of the resurrection of Christ.
5 For we have only three days al-
lowed us from the dead, who arose
to celebrate the passover of our
Lord with our parents, and to bear
our testimony for Christ the Lord,
and we have been baptized in the
holy river of Jordan. And now they
are not seen by any one.
6 This is as much as God allowed us
to relate to you; give ye therefore
praise and honour to him, and re-
pent, and he will have mercy upon
you. Peace be to you from the Lord
God Jesus Christ, and the Saviour of
us all. Amen, Amen, Amen.
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
7 And after they had made an end
of writing, and had written on two
distinct pieces of paper, Charinus
gave what he wrote into the hands
of Annas, and Caiaphas, and
8 Lenthius likewise gave what be
wrote into the hands of Nicodemus
and Joseph; and immediately they
were changed into exceeding white
forms and were seen no more.
9 But what they had written was
found perfectly to agree, the one not
containing one letter more or less
than the other.
10 When all the assembly of the
Jews heard all these surprising rela-
tions of Charinus and Lenthius, they
said to each other, Truly all these
things were wrought by God, and
blessed be the Lord Jesus for ever
and ever, Amen.
11 And they went all out with great
concern, and fear, and trembling,
and smote upon their breasts and
went away every one to his home.
12 But immediately all these things
which were related by the Jews in
their synagogues concerning Jesus,
were presently told by Joseph and
Nicodemus to the governor.
13 And Pilate wrote down all these
transactions, and placed all these ac-
counts in the public records of his
1 Pilate goes to the temple; calls together
the rulers, and scribes, and doctors. 2
Commands the gates to be shut; orders the
book of the Scriptures; and causes the
Jews to relate what thej really knew con-
cerning Christ. 14 They declare that they
crucified Christ in ignorance, and that
they now know him to be the Son of God,
according to the testimony of the Scrip-
tures; which, after they put him to death,
AFTER these things Pilate went to
the temple of the Jews, and called
together all the rulers and scribes,
and doctors of the law, and went
with them into a chapel of the
2 And commanding that all the
gates should be shut, said to them, I
have heard that ye have a certain
large book in this temple; I desire
you, therefore, that it may be
brought before me.
3 And when the great book, carried
by four ministers of the temple, and
adorned with gold and precious
stones, was brought, Pilate said to
them all, I adjure you by the God of
your Fathers, who made and com-
manded this temple to be built, that
ye conceal not the truth from me.
4 Ye know all the things which are
written in that book; tell me there-
fore now, if ye in the Scriptures have
found any thing of that Jesus whom
ye crucified, and at what time of the
world he, ought to have come: show
5 Then having sworn Annas and
Caiaphas, they commanded all the
rest who were with them to go out
of the chapel.
6 And they shut the gates of the
temple and of the chapel, and said to
Pilate, Thou hast made us to swear,
O judge, by the building of this
temple, to declare to thee that which
is true and right.
7 After we had crucified Jesus, not
knowing that he was the Son of
God, but supposing he wrought his
miracles by some magical arts, we
summoned a large assembly in this
8 And when we were deliberating
among one another about the mir-
acles which Jesus had wrought, we
found many witnesses of our own
country, who declared that they had
GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS
seen him alive after his death, and
that they heard him discoursing with
his disciples, and saw him ascending
into the height of the heavens, and
entering into them;
9 And we saw two witnesses, whose
bodies Jesus raised from the dead,
who told us of many strange things
which Jesus did among the dead, of
which we have a written account in
10 And it is our custom annually to
open this holy book before an as-
sembly, and to search there for the
counsel of God.
11 And we found in the first of the
seventy books, where Michael the
archangel is speaking to the third
son of Adam the first man, an ac-
count that after five thousand five
hundred years, Christ the most be-
loved son of God was to come on
12 And we further considered, that
perhaps he was the very God of Is-
rael who spoke to Moses, Thou shalt
make the ark of the testimony; two
cubits and a half shall be the length
thereof, and a cubit and a half the
breadth thereof, and a cubit and a
half the height thereof.
13 By these five cubits and a half
for the building of the ark of the
Old Testament, we perceived and
knew that in five thousand years and
half (one thousand) years, Jesus
Christ was to come in the ark or tab-
ernacle of a body;
14 And so our Scriptures testify that
he is the Son of God, and the Lord
and King of Israel.
15 And because after his suffering,
our chief priests were surprised at
the signs which were wrought by his
means, we opened that book to
search all the generations down to
the generation of Joseph and Mary
the mother of Jesus, supposing him
to be of the seed of David;
16 And we found the account of the
creation, and at what time he made
the heaven and the earth, and the
first man Adam, and that from
thence to the flood, were two thou-
sand seven hundred and forty- eight
17 And from the flood to Abraham,
nine hundred and twelve. And from
Abraham to Moses, four hundred
and thirty. And from Moses to David
the King, five hundred and ten.
18 And from David to the Babylon-
ish captivity five hundred years. And
from the Babylonish captivity to the
incarnation of Christ, four hundred
19 The sum of all which amounts to
five thousand and half (a thousand.)
20 And so it appears, that Jesus
whom we crucified, is Jesus Christ
the Son of God, and true Almighty
In the name of the Holy Trinity, thus end the acts of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which
the Emperor Theodosius the Great found at Jerusalem, in the hall of Pontius Pilate,
among the public records; the things were acted in the nineteenth year of Tiberius
Caesar, Emperor of the Komans, and in the seventeenth year of the government of
Herod, the son of Herod and of Galilee, on the eighth of the calends of April, which is
the twenty-third day of the month of March, in the CCIId Olympiad, when Joseph and
Caiaphas were rulers of the Jews; being a History written in Hebrew by Nicodemus, of
what happened after our Saviour ' s crucifixion.